Thursday, 20 October 2011

Tree Hugging

Apologies for not blogging sooner, but if I had over the last couple of weeks this blog would have just degenerated into a rant at the general level of apathy so many large companies show to their customers these days. I’m still awaiting satisfactory responses from many, and their general level of indifference is astounding. Companies like, London Buses and Nation East Anglia Trains to name just three. That was not what I wanted this blog to be about, so instead I’m going to talk trees and a company that does show an interest in their customers.

I decided my layouts needed some special trees and foliage, and so I looked to one of the tree kits from Woodland Scenics. I invested in the full range of glue, scenic cement and spray bottle in order to do the job right.

First stage was to remove the bases from their trunks and fit them, then bend the branches out and twist them to form three dimensional shapes.

To be honest the trees are much stronger than I first thought, initially I was a bit apprehensive about twisting them in case I was too heavy handed, but I had nothing to fear. The next stage was to glue them up and leave the glue to set and go tacky before applying the foliage.  

The foliage comes in a bag, at first glance you think there’s not going to be enough for all the trees in the pack, but providing you break the clumping foliage up before applying it to the branches there is certainly enough material in the pack to complete the project.

Once tacky I applied the foliage, left for 24 hours then started spraying with the scenic cement to secure and protect the trees – disaster, after I sprayed two of the trees the foliage all dropped from the trees, forming a soggy mess like the fallen leaves of autumn.

Now, I follow Woodland Scenics page on Facebook, where many people post images of projects and if you’re on Facebook and haven’t been to their page you should look it up – you’ll see some brilliant work there. Remember to ‘like’ the page for updates in your news feed.

I posted an appeal for help on their page and very quickly a brilliant young man named Joe Hawkins replied with helpful advice and shortly after Woodland Scenics themselves responded.

Their response was a well thought out answer to my situation, instead of just reprinting the instructions they tackled what had gone wrong and advised how I could get good results. 

The good news is that once the foliage had dried out I was able to follow their advice, applying two coats of Hob-e-tac before pressing the foliage on by hand and then building the scenic cement up in light layers.

Now I have the first batch of successful trees ready to be added to the graveyard set, the castle ruin and cottages.

It’s good to see that some companies take pride in their products and services and make the effort to help and provide advice for their customers. Well done Woodland Scenics, I will certainly be buying more trees in the near future. The other thing I like about Woodland Scenics is their website, it contains short video demonstrations which are great for getting you started.